This week Apple formally announced the Apple Watch, which is set to launch on April 24, 2015.
The Basics: The Watch will be compatible with iOS 8.2 iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6 and 6 Plus, and will be available in two face sizes (38mm and 42mm height) and in three different models, the Watch Sport (starting at $349), Watch (starting at $549), and Watch Edition (starting at $10,000). All will be water resistant and have a variety of color, material, and style options for their bands. Each Watch will have 8GB of storage with a 2GB allotment for music (about 200 songs) and 75MB for photos (about 100 images). Battery life will average 18 hours and charge via MagSafe, inductive charging. Just hold the charger near the back of the watch case and it will magnetically snap into place.
So what makes the three models different? Essentially just their material composition. The Watch Sport features an anodized aluminum case, strengthened Ion-X glass face, and durable, colored bands. The Watch features a stainless steel case, sapphire crystal face, and a range of bands. The Watch Edition features an 18 karat gold case, sapphire crystal face, and a range of bands.
As for timekeeping, the Apple Watch boasts incredible accuracy. The watch continuously checks the global time standard, and auto adjusts for daylight savings and time zone changes. The time is so accurate, every second hand on every Apple Watch around the globe will move in perfect sync.
You can fully custom the watch face. Chose from different face styles (Chronograph, Color, Modular, Utility, Mickey Mouse, Simple, Motion, Solar, Astronomy), change display details (color, minutes/seconds/milliseconds), or add Complications (moon phase, sunrise/sunset, stocks, weather, calendar events, activity tracker, world clock, date, timer, alarm and stopwatch). Want to view apps and information important to you, simply swipe for Glances at upcoming meetings, maps, stocks, weather, and more.
The hardware features include NFC, GPS, Wi-Fi, an accelerometer and gyroscope, a heart-rate sensor, Digital Crown, Force Touch, and Taptic Engine. Your watch will sense movement and activity through the GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, and heart-rate monitor. This all allows you to track daily activity and exercise statistics, raise your wrist to accept notifications or lower it to decline, and raise your wrist and say “Hey Siri” to activate Siri. The Digital Crown allows you to twist to zoom, scroll, input data, or press to return to the home screen, all without blocking the display. Force Touch differentiates between a tap and a press offering a new range of controls. The Taptic Engine produces a new style of haptic feedback, sending a tap sensation to your wrist.
The Watch gives you new and unique ways to send messages to a friend’s Watch. Start by pressing the button on the side to pull up your favorite contacts. Send a preset message, dictate a message, send an audio message, send a map of your location, send an animated emoji, or draw and send an animated sketch. You can also tap to send custom vibrations to a friend or press two fingers on the screen to send your heartbeat.
The Watch will come with built-in applications:
- Messages: receive a “tap” notification and simply raise your wrist to read the incoming message.
- Phone: see who is calling, use the built-in speaker and mic, transfer calls to your iPhone, or mute incoming calls.
- Mail: read, flag, mark read/unread, or move emails to trash
- Calendar: see your agenda, see meeting reminders on the watch’s face, and accept/decline calendar invitations
- Activity: monitor daily activity on three levels- move, exercise, stand
- Workout: real-time cardio stats of time, distance, calories, pace, and spead – customized for running, walking, cycling, and more
- Maps: get directions, turn-by-turn notification tap for left/right turns
- Passbook: keep boarding passes, tickets, loyalty cards, or use Apple Pay
- Siri: just raise your wrist and say “Hey Siri”
- Music: control your phone’s music or listen on your watch over bluetooth
- Camera Remote: see a preview of what your phone camera sees and snap a pic or set a timer
- Remote: control your Apple TV or your iTunes library or iTunes Radio on Mac or PC
- Weather: check current conditions or check forecasts locally or worldwide
- Stocks: track the stock market by current prices, points and percentage changes, and market cap
- Photos: see photos, zoom in and out with the Digital Crown
- Alarm: set, manage, edit, and label alarms
- Stopwatch: digital, analog, or hybrid display along with a graph view to chart averages
- Timer: a precise and convenient timer, set and watch it count down
- World Clock: check time around the world
- Settings: control Airplane Mode, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, Mute, or even ping a misplaced iPhone
Or download an app from the App Store. Here are some of the current apps available: Target, SPG, American Airlines, Nike+ Running, Instagram, MLB.com At Bat, Twitter, OpenTable, Evernote, TripAdviser, CNN, Sky Guide, eBay, Redfin, Shazam, NYTimes, PlayKids, Citi Mobile, Expedia, Babbel, ESPN…